Cover photo for Father Regis N. Barwig's Obituary
Father Regis N. Barwig Profile Photo
1932 Father Regis 2022

Father Regis N. Barwig

January 16, 1932 — December 31, 2022

Father Regis Norbert Barwig observed the sixty-third anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on May 30, 2022, with the celebration of a Mass of Thanksgiving in the chapel of the Community of Our Lady, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He passed over to eternal life shortly after midnight on December 31, 2022.

Father Regis was prior of the Community of Our Lady Monastery, and was born on January 16, 1932, in Chicago, the second of two sons of Ladislaus and Josepha (Neugebauer) Barwig, whose ancestors came to Chicago in 1862 as Polish political exiles who had resisted Prussian political and religious oppression. They would form the nucleus of the later to be established Saint Stanislaus Kostka parish, whose elementary school Father Barwig attended, continuing his education in Archbishop Weber High School where he excelled in oratory, becoming the Midwest champion in the National Hearst Oratorical Contest in 1948. Between his thirteenth and eighteenth year, he was part-time employed with the Chicago Polish Daily News as office boy and translator from English into Polish of classified advertising. He then attended St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) in Lisle, Illinois, and pursued graduate studies in government and political science at Georgetown and Notre Dame Universities and in sacred theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, with residence in the Collegio Santa Maria di Pietà in Vatican City. Between 1951 and 1954 he had been chairman of the speakers’ bureau of the National Federation of Catholic College Students. At that time also, he was employed part-time by the J. Walter Thompson Company and The Chicago Tribune, as a messenger boy.

He entered the Benedictine novitiate at Lisle in 1954, and was successively professed a monk and ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1959, in St. Raymond Cathedral, Joliet, Illinois, by Bishop Martin D. McNamara. At Lisle Abbey he served as secretary to the Abbot, and organized three international Congresses for Christian Unity in 1956, 1957, and 1959, traveling widely in Europe and the Middle East in the interest of the ecumenical movement. He also taught English, Latin, and public speaking at Lisle’s Benet Academy and was weekend assistant at Saint Mary of Gostyn Church in Downers Grove.

Author, translator and editor of a dozen books, preacher and lecturer in the United States and abroad, he chaired an annual ecumenical conference at the Oshkosh monastery, between 1968 and 1976.

He was a Fellow of the Collegio Teutonico in Vatican City and for many years was theological consultant of the Consortium Perfectae Caritatis. He was an associate of the Wanda Landowska Music Center, Lakeville, Connecticut and member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-Catholic Press Agency, New York City. He was recipient of the Skowyrow Foreign Award of the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland and of the Civitas Cristiana Association of Warsaw, and the Gold Medal of Merit of the Polish Catholic Mission of England and Wales.

In 1964, along with Father Eugene Kalinski and Father Augustine Serafini, he was co-founder of Claremont Priory in Cedarburg, Wisconsin; and in 1968 of the Community of Our Lady Monastery, with first residence at the chapel of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion until permanent establishment in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In the course of the years he performed various supply work in parishes, particularly, St. Josaphat and St. John Parishes, Oshkosh, as well as confessor to two religious communities of Sisters.

In 1959, Father Barwig was decorated by Generalissimo Francisco Franco as Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic of Spain in recognition of his efforts to improve relations between the United States and Spain. In 1972 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, subsequently becoming the Order’s Magistral Chaplain and Conventual Chaplain of honor and was raised to the rank of Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross of Honor and decorated with the Grand Cross of Merit. He served on the Order’s Roman Prelatial Council and was for eighteen years, Chief of Chaplains of the Order’s Polish Association.

In 1989 he was named an Ecclesiastical Knight Commander of Grace with Star of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George of the Royal House of Bourbon of the Two Sicilies and given its Gold Medal of Merit and named Prior of the American Delegation. He was later named Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I of the same Royal House.

He was also named a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem in the Grand Priory of Poland. In 1998 he received the Gold Medal of Merit of the Primate of Poland and named a titular canon of the Royal Collegiate Chapter of Saint Anne of Wilanow in Warsaw and in 2012 a canon of the Cathedral Basilica of Lowicz, receiving as well the Order of the Cross of Saint Victoria.

In 2000 the President of Poland conferred on him the Cross of Commander of Merit, and in 2007, the rarely accorded Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta with Star. In 2010 the Duke of Parma awarded him the Knight Commandership in the Imperial Angelic Order of St. George of the Royal House of Bourbon-Parma.

In 2004 Father Barwig observed the golden jubilee of his monastic life, and in 2009, that of his ordination to the sacred priesthood. He was a member of the International Commission for the Canonization of Queen Isabella the Catholic of Spain.

In 2001 the Holy See named him vice-postulator of the Cause of Canonization of the Servant of God, Mother Teresa Dudzik of Chicago.

In 2002 he published a nine-hundred-page autobiographical memoir entitled “Above and Beyond.”

Father Barwig is a member of the Selden Society, Queen Mary College, London, and of the Chicago Historical Society, the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Member of the Association of Friends of the Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint-Baume, France.

In 1972, upon the publication of his book “Waiting for Rain,” the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote in a letter to the author “You are a credit to the Church and one of its brave prophets.”

A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at the Monastery of Our Lady, 2820 Oakwood Lane, Oshkosh, WI 54904 officiated by The Reverend Augustine Serafini. A time for visitation will be held on Thursday at the Monastery from 10:00 AM until the time of the memorial Mass. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at St. John Cantius Parish, 825 N. Carpenter St. Chicago IL, 60642. Visitation will be held on Saturday at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of the funeral Mass. Entombment will take place immediately following the funeral Mass at All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines, IL.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Father Regis N. Barwig, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, January 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree